Edinburgh preview

Apparently there’s some kind of arts event happening in Scotland this year. Edinburgh, of all places. Who’s idea was that?

It would be remiss of me not to nominate a few acts in the Biggest Comedy Jamboree on Earth. Here are six I spotted flicking through the programme – I’ll have more suggestions presently.

Caveat emptor: I know a couple of the performers listed below. They’re still good, mind - just saying.

Acts I’ve seen and enjoyed previously:

1. Benny Boot – dry-as-dust Australian stand-up. Specialises in lowering the energy in a room, only to lower it further. (Pleasance Courtyard, 9.45 pm)

2. Hannah Gadsby – another pretty dry Australian, but in a more story-telling vein. (Gilded Balloon, 4.45pm)

3. The Gentlemen of Leisure – sketch duo who ransack the world of literature and culture for their topics. Basically, highbrow silliness. (Just the Tonic at The Caves, 3.20pm)

Acts I haven’t seen, but who sound like I would enjoy them

1.Toby – girl-girl sketch group. Last year's show sounded like terrific, inventive fun. That’s my kind of fun. (Pleasance Courtyard, 4.30 pm)

2. David Reed: Shamblehouse – ‘one-man sketch show’ from one-third of the Penny Dreadfuls. I’ve always liked the idea of one person doing a whole sketch show, but I’ve never seen anything that really fits that description. Maybe this will be that show? (Pleasance Courtyard, 8.30 pm)

3. Seminar – Emily Watson Howes specialises in high-concept comedy shows (monologues in ladies toilets, a sketch show set in a gym, that kind of thing). Here she plays a stress expert - it sounds like a close relative to the various management-guru/life-coach characters populating comedy festivals in recent years, but hopefully she has a few interesting twists on the formula. (Pleasance Courtyard, 2.10 pm)

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